Beyond the Sling: A Conversation with Mayim Bialik

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By Tracy G. Cassels

There has been no celebrity quite as outspoken or involved in the Attachment Parenting world as Mayim Bialik.  Not only can you count on seeing her image in any piece on celebrity breastfeeding, but she serves as the celebrity spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network, a US-based organization focusing on positive parenting, holistic health and nutrition, and green living.  She also writes her own blog on Kveller and stars in The Big Bang Theory as Amy Farrah Fowler.  And now to top it off, she’s written a (sadly) controversial book about parenting attachment-style which has (luckily) been a huge hit so far, Beyond The Sling.  I was lucky enough to be able to have a chat with Mayim in the midst of all this hoopla and am pleased to say she’s as nice and well-spoken as you would imagine.

So, is this all what you expected?

Um… No!  We’ve already went into a third printing.

That’s awesome!  But I’d like to ask how you managed to do it.  You’re homeschooling, you’ve got your blog, you’ve got a show, you’ve got young kids at home still, and now… a book.

Well, part of the secret is that my husband is home with our boys, but for the first couple years of both their lives, it was me at home.  I started auditioning again when Fred was almost one.  I write when our boys sleep, I don’t have much of a social life, and I don’t get many hours sleep.  But everything gets done without nannies or assistants or any of that, I promise.

You’ve talked on your blog a bit about how Miles was a high-needs child and you had problems breastfeeding – problems many moms face.  Yet in our society the response to that is to switch to formula, use cry-it-out.  I agree with you that these are not the answers, but what advice would you give to parents who are faced with that kind of high-needs child?

When you have a high-needs child I think it’s even more important learn about the body, to learn about what it means to respond to those needs.  Sometimes high-needs children are just better at telling us – loudly – what they need, so in a way it’s kind of a blessing.  It was extremely frustrating having two children who really did not want to be put down for many, many months, but my husband and I spoke to enough people and I got enough support from La Leche League International and from other women who were parenting this way to have the strength to shift my expectations and know, “Oh! I’m not going to be able to get back to my social life, my schedule, my shopping, really anything right away.” And that’s kind of the universe’s way of giving us a present and teaching us to slow down.

My daughter was the same and I found my experience has changed me as a person, but I love the person I’ve become.

Sure, but it’s scary to a lot of people.  I think especially in a productive and kind of feminist society it’s not valued to surrender that way to the needs of a child.  When people ask me what the hardest part is of parenting this way, I think it’s exactly what you just touched on, it’s not walking away when a mirror is held up in front of you and you see how much you are ruled by the expectations of society instead of what your desires are and the needs of your family.

In line with that, what do you think will end up changing, globally, society’s expectations for mothers and their children and that relationship?

I think Ricki Lake has shown exactly what can happen.  When two women who are not satisfied with something really put their money where their mouth is.  Ricki Lake did support for this book, which has been tremendous, but I think she’s a perfect example of someone saying, “It’s not acceptable how we treat women’s bodies and how we treat childbirth”.  I think that’s been an amazing start to what I hope is a wider understanding in this country [the USA] because many countries get it.  I talk a lot about the Scandinavian countries in the book, about the dozens of countries that have made hitting illegal, about the countries with far better infant and maternal mortality rates than us.  There are places in this world that get it and we should look to them and see how we can learn from them – even if our society is not as small, not as homogenized, not as wealthy – there are still things we can learn.

I love the Scandinavian countries.  Their policies just seem so humane.  You look at their education system and I know people argue it’s just the system that’s better, but I think it starts even earlier.  The reason their kids do so much better is that they have this foundation to work with.

And when parents are told that it does matter that they raise their children, it absolutely shifts the climate of a culture.  When you’re told that you don’t have to give up your salary simply because you want to be with your child, it absolutely changes the fabric of the society.

One of the things they have there – and you have a perfect example of it with your husband at home – is there’s a huge involvement of fathers.  How important do you think that is in practicing attachment parenting?  Obviously it’s not necessary – single mothers can do it and do it – but how helpful do you think it is to have fathers more involved like they are in those Scandinavian countries?

It’s difficult to answer because, especially in this country, there’s a huge emphasis a certain liberal philosophy about parenting.  Even in the book we had to be very careful to not only talk about married couples and not to only talk about husbands.  I think, speaking biologically, the male and the female primate do serve a very specific function for babies, but I think even more than that a community in general is very important to primates.  Other women are exceedingly important and some would argue possibly more than having a husband or someone of the opposite sex there.  So I think both of those things are extremely important in different ways.

I was asked a question about this by a stay-at-home dad, who is a really interesting guy and who interviewed me when I was in New York for the book tour.  I said that I think attachment parenting made my husband more able to be present and really helped him to make a confident decision about being home.   I don’t know if he would have been as confident about the decision to be home if he didn’t already have such an amazing connection with our boys because of baby wearing, because of co-sleeping, because of believing that their voice mattered as infants.  It really forged a fantastic relationship between him and our kids that I think if we didn’t parent this way, he would not have the same way.  I actually only realized this on the book tour.  I realized that I don’t think he would have had the confidence if he hadn’t been an attachment parenting dad to begin with.

That’s incredible because I do think there are a lot of dads who may be supportive of mom doing it, but who may not jump on board themselves.  There’s a disconnect in that attachment parenting is seen as a mom’s area and dad’s going to do the rough and tumble things down the line. 


I find a lot of policy-makers are resistant to the type of information about policies around the world, like the family-centered policies in the Scandinavian countries.  It seems to be very strong in the US, but the science is out there, the research is out there, so how do you get these people to listen?  Is it money?

Honestly, I’m not sure.  I think there are probably people more qualified than I to decide that.  Not to sound like Marx, but I think we do have to start with the people.  And I think that will in a large way determine where we go from here.  I think we need to get more people knowing about these kinds of things and making them care.

I’ve been online a lot and there’s a debate happening in New Zealand over a public policy ad that had an image of a rugby player bottle-feeding his daughter in an anti-smoking campaign.  When La Leche League was asked their opinion by the government, LLL stated that the image may do harm to a breastfeeding campaign that they’ve got going on at the same time.  So the government removed the image and it’s caused a huge stink all around New Zealand and beyond.  People are arguing that the removal disrespects father’s rights and it’s a beautiful way for a dad to bond with his baby and it shouldn’t matter.


Yep.  And the places like the Natural Parent Magazine in New Zealand have been bombarded with accusations that they don’t care about dads, etc.  What do you think of these types of situations?

First of all, LLL takes no particular stance on bottle-feeding or not, meaning, their latest edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding has an entire section about work.  When The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding was published by LLL in 1958, there was no chapter on work.  So they’ve come a long way.  LLL helps women who pump, helps women who go to work.  But I think the normalization of bottle feeding in our culture is what they’re very sensitive to.  I know dads who have bottle-fed breastmilk and I think what is potentially problematic, and I’m not taking a stance, is that that should not be the only vision of how dads bond with their babies because it absolutely does get into women’s heads that this is the way for dad to bond with the baby.  Our first son never took a bottle and our husband was able to bond with him in numerous ways – baby wearing, being close to him in general, sleeping with him – there is a ton of things to do.  But again, the normalization of bottle-feeding as either a way to feed a child equivalent to breast milk, which it’s not, or as the only acceptable way for us to have dads involved, it is potentially damaging.

I see how many men in North America make the statement of that is how they bonded with their child and I’m appalled that this is seen as the only way in which they can bond with their child.

Also, a lot of that rhetoric comes from the “mom needs a break” philosophy and again, that’s very, very Western, very geared towards productivity, independence, an obedient child.  Those are all things that can only happen if mom is well rested and mom gets a break.  It’s very wrapped up in a lot of that, and it’s obviously incredibly complicated.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s doing anyone a favour – mom, dad, or child – because the best type of bonding doesn’t come from that kind of relationship.

No, and it only reinforces this concept that mom can’t do it unless someone is giving her that kind of break.

Though I think there is a case to be made for working mothers who return to work at six weeks and come home to a newborn – they need a mental health break.  But to me, she should have a longer time at home with baby before having to go back to work.

Yes, shift the expectations of culture as well to not require women to return, even psychologically, to the way they were before.  I couldn’t read a newspaper for weeks and weeks, my brain would not work.  And instead of wondering why and saying, “Oh I’m holding this baby too much”, I simply said, “I guess people will tell me if something big happens in the world” because I couldn’t get my head around it right now.

So I have to ask one that I know is a little tougher because it’s a controversial bit and that’s circumcision because you did circumcise both your boys. My question is based on something you said in another interview that made me think that though you did it, there may have been feelings that it was not a perfect, happy scenario. [Note: The quote was, “my decision to appreciate the traditions of Judaism that say that when you think you are right, you are wrong” in response to a circumcision question.]

I’ve generally resisted speaking about circumcision, largely because the holistic community has made it virtually impossible to speak about in this way, meaning there has not been any place for dialogue when speaking about it only leads to me being called a mutilator.

I think that’s a problem because I’m writing about it now and I feel, well, I’ll be honest that I’m not Jewish and I wouldn’t do it if I had a boy, I have no reason to…

And I don’t support circumcision for non-religious reasons.  I also don’t equate female genital mutilation with bris and many people simply do and to me that’s the end of a conversation.  What I try and say, and this is the statement of the Holistic Moms Network – I am their spokesperson – they state that they make no stance on religious circumcision.  There are communities of observant, attachment parenting, Jewish women who are open to discussing the complexity of the ancient covenant, but in general, it’s only led to statements about me worshipping a false god, and things like that, that I just can’t open up to.  And I think that once you start name-calling, you lose the ability to hear from the thousands of women who do want to shed light on this in a positive way.  It’s been very difficult, and that’s the easy answer.

I have to admit I’m very sad to hear that because you’re obviously a very intelligent person and so if a discussion could get going with the intent of highlighting certain issues around it, it could go further with you taking part, but I know it’s impossible when the other side just shuts you down.

Well, yeah.  And if there’s one thing I hope will occur on a mountain somewhere in the desert it’s the Revelation that we can shift this covenant, but I don’t think that’s going to happen either!

Shifting gears here… if you could initiate one worldwide policy with respect to parenting, what would it be and why?

Oh gosh!  I think there have already been tremendous answers in the understanding of pregnancy and breastfeeding that we’re trying to institute worldwide.  I think teaching women about their bodies and the normal physiology of pregnancy and labour and breastfeeding in pregnancy would be an incredible gift, even if it’s in the form of a pamphlet.  We’ve seen changes in breastfeeding with that kind of information being given out, but I think it needs to expand to include labour and childbearing.

Do you think it needs to happen during that time?  I’ve had people on my site suggest that we need to give this information earlier, like in high school to get people more normalized to it.

I definitely think it would be good, but it adds a little bit of complexity.  But yes, I think even more so than teaching about safe sex, and which condom to use, it would be a tremendous benefit to teach about the normalness of human physiology in pregnancy, labour, and birth.

One last question before you go.  Which character on The Big Bang Theory do you think would be the best Attachment Parent?  Because I don’t think it would be Amy…

I think it might be Amy because of her research on primate physiology and I think we know that Leonard’s character has severe attachment problems as his mother has noted – she barely held him and didn’t want to parent him.

But not Bernadette?  I always thought it would be Bernadette.

Oh that’s funny.  She does look like a real mother goddess!


I’ll have to tell her tonight when I see her.

Okay – thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me.


Mayim Hoya Bialik is best known for her role in the 1990s NBC sitcom “Blossom.” Bialik was born to first generation Jewish American parents who were documentary filmmakers and teachers. She drew international attention when she played the young Bette Midler in “Beaches” in 1989 and has had guest roles on some of television’s most beloved shows of the 1980s and 1990s. She appeared in Woody Allen’s “Don’t Drink the Water” in 1994, and has more recently appeared HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Bialik stars regularly as Sheldon Cooper’s friend who is a girl, Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.”

Bialik earned a BS in Neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and a PhD in Neuroscience in 2007 from UCLA. Her thesis in psychoneuroendrocrinology examined the hormones of attachment and their role in obsessive and compulsive behaviors in a genetic syndrome featuring hypothalamic dysfunction. Dr. Bialik designs and teaches a Neuroscience curriculum to junior high and high school homeschoolers in Southern California.

Bialik is married to her college sweetheart and has two sons: Miles Roosevelt, born naturally in 2005 and Frederick Heschel, born at home (unassisted until the final push) in 2008. She is the celebrity spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network and she speaks nationally and internationally on topics including green and holistic parenting, religion and observance, feminism, and the industry that has employed her since she was a child. She writes regularly for and her writing has been featured in a variety of print and online publications.

Dr. Bialik has completed coursework and training to be Certified Lactation Educator/Consultant (CLEC), and eventually plans to be an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

Touchstone Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, will release Bialik’s first book, Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way, with an introduction by Dr. Jay Gordon, in March 2012.

Please visit: or for more information.


To purchase Beyond the Sling, you can follow this link:

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  1. Kelly says

    Religion should NEVER be forced on another person’s body. Genital cutting is a violation of human rights. The foreskin on boys, whether they are Jewish or not, is there for several biological reasons. No child should lose such an integral, functioning part of their genitals because of their parents’ selfish religious views. That is HIS body. Why is it so difficult to let the child chose the covenant for himself?

      • Kelly says

        In what way exactly? I did not name call. Human rights trump religious rights. That’s a fact. Female genital mutilation and male genital cutting/circumcision/bris are analogous. Cutting a child on the genitals, boy or girl, clearly violates his/her human right to security of person AND his/her right to freedom of religion. I am not calling her a “mutilator” — the procedure in and of itself is mutilating.

        Genital cutting is in no way “holistic” and it goes against all principles of attachment parenting. It’s like she was SO close to making a <> impact for babies and children but….. Just imagine if she did all these great things for attachment parenting theory AND respected her sons’ rights to genital integrity and autonomy.

        There is no god higher than TRUTH. -Gandhi

        The following article was incredibly eye-opening for me in my search to understand the ritual of genital cutting.
        I will add, I am the mother of one circumcised and two intact boys. When you know better, you do better.

        • says

          I’m not religious so I always find it hard to approach these issues with the right information, but this was a comment from someone on my post on circumcision and I think it hits the nail on the head (I’m hoping she doesn’t mind my sharing it here – I’ve asked, but I’m impatient so I’ll remove it if it’s a problem):

          Btw, the point to entering your children into a covenant with God is, for both Jews and Muslims (Christian too but different covenant) it is a requirement of raising your children properly to see them entered into that and grown up within the beliefs of the religion. Think of the secular equivalent being the argument that you should teach your kids to read, yes, they *could* make that choice themselves at a later date, but it’s part of your job as a parent to make sure they become literate. Asking an observant Jew to wait until their child is an adult would be a similiar parenting fail as asking a dedicated English teacher or writer to wait until their kid was an adult to decide for themselves if they want to learn to read. You, as parent, *know* that *this* is the best course for them and will do everything in your power to make sure they follow that course. Asking Jews to wait until their kids are ‘old enough’ to decide for themselves is, ultimately, to ask them to believe and behave in a manner that shows their religion is not the best choice. And I don’t care if you’re a Biblical Christian or a Druidic Shaman, why would you hold to and practice a religious belief if you didn’t believe it was the best path to be on? I think asking religious people not to ‘indoctrinate’ their children (which they *are* asked, even commanded to do all the time all over the world) is telling them they are not actually allowed to practice their beliefs. It’s like society saying “you’re insane, and we’ll let you proclaim your belief in your insanity, but you can’t drag anyone else into it” which, regardless of how I, we, society feels about any specific religion, is a very dangerious road to go down.

        • says

          I think it is very one sided to just completely disregard one’s religion in this case and to go straight into a diatribe about mutilation. I did not circumcise my boys. The procedure was not for me, and it is not the norm in the highly Catholic and Hispanic area that I live in. That being said, I don’t think that you can tell a person to not follow an act that is so strongly attached to their religious beliefs. And to be honest as much as I would never do that to my child, I have dated many circumcised men that don’t think twice about the appearance of their penis. No that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to think twice about, but that does mean that circumcision is not the end of the world for many men.

          • says

            I totally agree. I think we cannot disregard religious beliefs in this discussion. We can try to work to change them, but it has to be done with an openness to hearing the other side and acknowledging where they’re coming from.

            I also tend to find things like CIO more harmful in the long run, but that’s my opinion.

  2. Jespren says

    I’m the author of the above that Tracy copied over (no prob Tracy, you can always quote me) and wanted to add one thing given the particulars of this conversation. It’s ludicris to say “human rights trump religious rights”. The right to freely believe and practice one’s religion *IS* a human right. It’s like saying ‘human rights trump human rights’, it’s completely nonsensical. One could argue that bodily intergity is *more* important than human rights, but I think there is a reason we call them ‘basic human rights’, they come first and superceed everything else. One can certainly have a legal right to bodily intergity, but that merely legal right bows first to basic human rights, as is proper. And making the claim that humans have an intrinsic right to bodily integerit is quite outside of the bounds of logic. Societies the world over, including our own, has long used body modification to fit a member into society. Is circumcision ‘mutilation’? Of course it is! But that doesn’t make it inheriently contrary to anyone’s rights. We peirce the body, use braces to modify faces, bind feet in hard soled shoes, even allow for underage parental consent of tattooing. In other times and cultures they bound heads, flattened faces, stretched necks, corsetted waists, bound feet, constricted arms, wrists, legs, stretched ears, lips, tongues, cut faces, bodies, genitals, carved flesh, ground teeth, the list is practically endless. Are all these people, past, present, and future somehow abused because their parents and society modified their body to follow religious or cultural rites? This stretches the definition of a right’s abuse past any semblance of logic or sense. The human body has long been a canvass that all peoples have used to express their religion and culture to themselves and others upon. And it’s a parent’s proper right to see that their child is brought up within that culture. To say that ‘mutilation’ (of any body part) is, in and of itself, abusive makes almost everyone to have ever walked the earth an abuse victim. That’s not what the term means. An action must be taken out of it’s proper context, it must lose meaning and significance before it can ever be considered inappropriate. A relgion has just as much right to circumcise a member of that religion as it does to stetch a lip or ear or to scar. Somewhere right now a mother is adjusting the lip plug on her young daughter, one day it will be so large that, like herself, her daughter will be unable to chew and only drink foods. That mother isn’t abusing her daughter, she’s doing what every good parent there has done for generations to make her daughter a proper member of the tribe. But if I did that same thing to my daughter? I would rightly be accused of abuse. I’m not Jewish, nor Muslim, nor any other faith that requires circumcision, and I think it an utter travesty, one that should be put a stop to, when others not of such faiths choose to mutilate their kids without cause or purpose, just because. But to a Jew? They have cause, and purpose, they are being proper parents and doing what they must to make sure their children become a proper member of their tribe. The right to religious freedom, and the right to parent one’s own offspring in accordance to your culture and religion *is* a human right, and should never be taken away. Prostylize all you want to try to get other parents and would be parents to give up their old culture/religion and join another that follows a different path, absolutely! After all, if you didn’t feel your path was best why would you follow it? But you can not force people onto any path without actually taking away real, basic, inalienable human rights.

  3. Kelly says

    I am not completely disregarding anyone’s religion nor am I telling someone not to do something. I am simply stating that the act of cutting a child on the genitals, whether done because of religion or culture, violates his/her rights to security of person (bodily integrity) AND religious freedom. The basic human rights of every human born should trump their parents’ right to religion. People should absolutely be free to practice their beliefs but in 2012 religious freedom ends where your body ends and should never be forced on someone else’s body. When a child’s body is cut or altered in any way, his/her right to security of person is violated along with the right to religious freedom. Example, my husband is Jewish and was circumcised. Is he observant? No. Does he wish he still had his foreskin? Yes. His parents made an irreversible choice thinking it was the best thing for him based on their beliefs but not thinking about what he might someday believe or not believe. They forced him onto that path and took away HIS human rights for their own selfish reasons.

    You can either look at like it’s taking away the rights of the parent or protecting the rights of the innocent child. You either believe a male child deserves the right to his whole body and freedom of religion or you don’t. Our society doesn’t allow this sort of religious freedom for the parents of baby girls. We don’t allow cutting, removal of the clitoral hood, or even a tiny pinprick to female genitals for religious reasons. Nor do we allow young girls to be married off for religious reasons. These rituals also have cause and purpose in their tribe and are just as important to them as cutting is to Jews but they are illegal in our country. Are you saying female genital mutilation should be allowed for religious reasons? Forced marriages for 12 year old girls – is that ok with you because the parent is simply doing what they have to do so the child is accepted in the tribe? It’s quite hypocritical to say one religion should be allowed to practice genital cutting on boys but another religion cannot simply because the person subjected is a girl.

    Also, important to note – Mayim Bialik wasn’t raised religious (her words), married a Mormon, and she’s VEGAN! sighhhhhh.

    • says

      I think you raise the points that need to be raised in this discussion. I think many men wish they weren’t circumcised, and yet I’ve heard of the opposite – Jewish parents who didn’t and the sons resented it later because they didn’t “fit in”. The legal argument is what interests me most because I do believe that if we allow circumcision for religious purposes, we also need to allow the female equivalent for religious purposes. The question some would raise is which direction to go because some would believe it would be to legalize certain forms of female circumcision. However, the intent behind the religious act is also of importance. Certain forms of female circumcision are done as a means of sexual control and thus they lose the “religious” power. Jewish circumcision is done to form the covenant between the male infant and God. But yes, it is highly legally hypocritical to not have it legalized for females, but legalized for males (it’s what I said in my series on Circumcision).

      As for the rights ending at an infant’s body, I disagree. Take vaccination for example – many people are against it, some wishing they hadn’t been vaccinated, but we allow – even encourage it – because we see that harming the infant (pain, and sometimes more) is worth it for a future benefit. Religiously speaking, an infant’s spiritual well-being is at stake and that is paramount for many religious parents. Most importantly, I wouldn’t call it “selfish” – in fact, quite the opposite. Putting your child through pain is no easy feat for any parent and to do it is to do it under the belief that there is something far more important at stake. Whether or not your child grows up to believe in that is a different story, but if you truly believe, how else can you be expected to act? This is why many people take a different stance on religious versus non-religious circumcision. Even Mayim admits she does not agree with non-religious circumcision because there ceases to be a greater good to the pain inflicted on the infant. As I’ve stated, there is absolutely no room in my view for non-religious circumcision, but religion adds complexities that need to be addressed and discussed and if changes are going to be made, it has to be through education.

      As to your points about Mayim – I don’t understand the problem. Some of the most religious individuals became so later in life. And circumcision for religious purposes has nothing to do with veganism. She’s vegan due to her religious beliefs as well.

      • Jespren says

        I think the point to the Veganism was that one can’t be an observant Jew (which requires eating meat at least once a year) *and* a vegan, so if she can be non-observant in one area of her religion, why can’t she be in another (circumcision). My best guest. Not really a very fair argument, in my assessment, but one I have heard tossed about before.

        • Alia says

          This is a spectacular point. I wish it would have been addressed in the original interview! Is she vegan except for that eating meat once a year (I’d totally understand if she ditched the vegan for a day to stay observant)

      • Abraham says

        The post is old but the discussion is so interesting that I want to jump in.

        There is always a way to rationalise certain behaviour, specially when religion is involved. For instance, Jehova’s Witnesses refuse blood transfussions for religious reasons. Just talk to them and they will explain you what are all issues related to blood transfusions and why God does not approve them. When it comes to their children, they often see themselves in court, with the judge overruling the parents refusal.

        When you are guided by religious beliefs, that’s what you end up doing. Denying necessary medical treatment, cutting your son’s genitals, etc. etc. despite the silenced inner voice trying to reach up to you in order to stop that non-sense. But, since it is a religious matter people are supposed to stand back and show the utmost respect. Well I disagree, in the particular case of the circumcision, it is an ancient, dangerous, painful and over all unnecessary practice with no place in modern society. So if your religion requires it, change religion. If your community rejects you, then move elsewhere. There are no added complexities if you use common sense.

        It is a pity that intelligent, successful and caring persons like Mayim yield to such dark practices. They don’t seem able to see that in such way, the simply perpetuate them. I would advise Mayim to follow her own advice and trust her instincts and not to hear what the people around has to say (including priests, rabbies, etc.).

    • Jespren says

      I don’t know if you’re in the U.S. or in Canada, but if you think underage marriages don’t happen for religious/cultural reasons in the U.S., perfectly legally, well, you should look into it. Many states allow for parental consent marriages of underage girls/boys and many such marriages (although certainly not all) happen among distinct segments of the population which holds to arranged marriages for cultural/religious reasons. And no, I don’t have a problem with that. It’s historically *far* more common for a marriage to be arranged than not, and even today arranged marriages have a much lower divorce rate. I have absolutely no moral or legal problem with a Traveler family marrying their 14 year old daughter to her 16 year old 2nd cousin because that’s how it works in their society. Exqually so female circumcision, as Tracy mentioned a lot of it is geared strictly towards repression and has lost any religious base, but a complete outlaw of the practice, not allowing for even some for of ritual observation for religious/cultural reasons *is* a travesty and the federal government trampling all over religious freedom, a human right.

  4. Nokomis says

    i was a really big fan of mayim’s until i learned of her hypocrisy. she’s such an advocate of attachment parenting, but she allowed what is the most violating, traumatizing, dissociating experience of an infant’s life to happen to her children. there is no way to argue that this does not change bonding. she gave her children over to monsters to be mutilated. she did not protect them. i don’t believe this is something a male can ever truly heal from. being a neuroscientist, you would think she would be aware of the studies proving that circumcision literally changes the wiring in the brain. it presets the child for psychological problems. not very intelligent.

    it’s strange that she would be advocating for children and then turn around and allow that to happen to her own. judaism is HER religion. she has NO RIGHT to carve those beliefs into someone else’s body. clearly she has no grasp of the moral principles behind attachment parenting, which are basically to treat your child as an individual human being, because that’s what they are. individual human beings have a basic right to their bodily integrity.

    and to say that circumcision is not comparable to female genital mutilation is absolutely bloody ignorant. you are performing a culturally-based genital surgery on an unconsenting minor with the intent to remove sexual sensation and function. that is genital mutilation. there is no difference.

    i don’t think i’ll ever be able to watch big bang theory again.


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